Breath of Zehir
Brothers of Bahamut
The Brothers of Bahamut are a religious order within the city of Erathis Watch founded by Virgiliantus. They are those who have answered The Call of Bahamut and are wholly dedicated to upholding the teachings of The Platinum Dragon. The longest-serving and most dedicated of the order undergo The Rite of Rebirth, a ritual that physically transforms them into dragonborn. Almost all of the city’s dragonborn are descended from families whose ancestors long ago underwent this rite, and have prominent status in the city’s nobility.
The Last Brotherhood
The former rulers of the city were the five dragonborn: Brahm the Shining, Ian the Brave, Sterling the Just, Roark the Merciful, and Pewter the Gray. Normally when one of the rulers dies, resigns, or retires, a champion is chosen from among those who have answered the Call of Bahamut and undergoes the Rite of Rebirth to take his place.
Ian the Brave can trace his lineage back to the Gold Dragons of the ancient Arkhosian empire, and he’s proud of it. Hot-headed and impetuous, he is always the first into battle and relishes combat with burning flame and searing light. Ian likes striking out on his own whenever he hears of trouble outside the city walls, and has led crusades with the church of Pelor against undead disturbances with his trusty falchion, Dawn.
Sterling has never had much of a sense of humor. As presiding judge over the courts of Erathis Watch, Sterling is impassive and devoted to his work. His word is law in the city, and local sages debate his decisions with enthusiasm. He goes about his business dutifully, and his inner thoughts are a mystery to all but those closest to him. It also falls to Sterling to execute condemned criminals, a job he takes as seriously as any other. He sees adventuring as an extension of this commitment, and wields his hefty executioner’s axe in melee.
Roark is chief of the hospital in Erathis Watch, and his compassion and pity for the injured and abused is a source of quiet inspiration to the city. The most public of the Brotherhood, Roark uses his powers where possible to ease the suffering of those in pain, or heal those with life-threatening injuries. Roark often takes up public causes, including acting as a public defense or prosecution attorney in civil and criminal cases where the parties cannot afford to hire representation. Roark prefers to wield the greatsword, and has trained in combat to fight as effectively with the flat of the blade as with the edge of it.
The youngest member of the Brotherhood, Pewter was Erathis Watch’s justicar, focusing his energy on tracking down criminals and bringing them to justice. Working closely with Simeon of the town guard, Pewter has repeatedly refused to give up his job patrolling the streets in exchange for a desk job managing and training the town guard. He enjoys a camaraderie with the soldiers and gets along well with Ian, though he rubs Sterling the wrong way. Pewter will think nothing of using his Thundering Maul to smash down a door or punch a hole in a wall to get to the thieves’ den or cultists’ shrine.
The Dragonborn of Bahamut
Gods wage war through mortal pawns, and draconic deities are no different. Tiamat creates all sorts of dragonspawn to manifest her power in the world, breeding warped creatures from her eggs. These evil entities act as the Chromatic Dragon’s agents. Of the other gods, only Bahamut stands between Tiamat and her evil goals. The conflict between them has raged for centuries. Those who know of this conflict refer to it as the Dragonfall War.
The Platinum Dragon forswore breeding creatures to oppose Tiamat’s spawn, instead accepting humanoid volunteers to his righteous cause. He only takes those truly dedicated to supporting his ideals and working against vile draconic creatures. A potential recruit’s past actions matter little; all that counts is present and future devotion to opposing Tiamat and her spawn. Some wrongdoers have found redemption and purpose in becoming Bahamut’s servants.
Those willing to give themselves into Bahamut’s care and act as his emissaries in the mortal realms become his daughters and sons. Such humanoids give up all their former racial identity and are born anew. They become dragonborn.
Dragonborn are powerful, majestic creatures that resemble their adoptive father. They fight ceaselessly against the spawn of Tiamat, gaining allies in the Dragonfall War along the way. Dragonborn are great leaders with clear purpose. They are often the motivating nexus of an adventuring party.
The Call of Bahamut
The dragonborn children of Bahamut are a unique race in that they are not born; they are reborn. Each one enters the world as an eladrin, an elf, a human, or a member of some other humanoid race with all that race’s propensities and traits. Bahamut beckons to his would-be followers, and those few who might choose to serve him.
Most of those who hear the Platinum Dragon’s call discover it early, before they reach adolescence. A few heed it after reaching adulthood and beginning their careers. Not all who are called answer.
The call is a strange event that one must experience to understand. It takes the form of a courteous mental question, asking if one’s heart and soul are able and willing to undertake dedication to a noble and arduous purpose — protecting the world from the spawn of Tiamat.
Bahamut’s call asks the chosen one if she is willing to give herself over entirely to this cause, giving up all that she was before to transform into one of Bahamut’s children. This choice is never easy. The chosen one is made aware of the many sacrifices she must make, from her racial identity to her family and friends, even her whole way of life. The only reward for those forfeitures is service to the Platinum Dragon and his abiding love.
The Rite of Rebirth
The Rite of Rebirth transforms a character into a dedicated draconic servant of Bahamut known as a dragonborn.
Becoming a dragonborn isn’t undertaken lightly. It is a long process full of self-reflection and commitment. Those supplicants raised in the ways of their original race must carefully consider what they’re giving up. While a human might be content to give up her natural versatility, it’s rare for someone heavily invested in her racial identity to forfeit that race’s abilities.
When the rite begins, the supplicant lays aside all her equipment and possessions for the duration of the ceremony. Dressed in a loose, linen shift, she spends a full day and night fasting and meditating upon her choice. Her mind fills with all the things she is giving up, reminding her she must forgo much of herself to become a dragonborn.
When dawn comes, the prospective dragonborn crawls inside an egg-shaped structure that she has built in order to sleep for the last time in her original form. This symbolic act represents her acceptance of the transformation. When the next dawn arrives, she is transformed into a dragonborn. After awakening inside the sealed egg, she breaks out of it as a glorious, draconic child of Bahamut.
Prerequisites: In order to be accepted as a suitable candidate, the supplicant must be non-evil and have an Intelligence score of at least 3.
Benefit: A dragonborn loses many of her original racial traits and gains the racial traits of the dragonborn race.
Time: The Rite of Rebirth requires 24 hours of meditation and fasting followed by 24 hours of sleep. If the ceremony is interrupted, the prospective child of Bahamut must start the rite from the beginning.
Cost: The symbolic egg crafted by the prospective dragonborn costs 100 gp to create, and requires a handful of scales from metallic dragons.